Coronavirus: 56 New Cases Confirmed In The Midlands Today

National news updates on Tuesday 20th October.

Latest Figures:

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 13 additional deaths related to COVID-19.

There has now been a total of 1,865 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight Monday 19th October, the HPSC has been notified of 1,269 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 52,256* confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

Of the cases notified today;

657 are men / 609 are women

63% are under 45 years of age

The median age is 34 years old

221 in Meath, 203 in Dublin, 116 in Cork, 80 in Cavan and 649 and the remaining 649 cases are spread across all remaining counties.

As of 2pm today, 312 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 34 are in ICU. 13 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

County

 

Today’s cases

(to midnight 19OCT2020)

 

14-Day incidence rate per 100,000 population

(06OCT2020 to 19OCT2020)

 

New Cases during last 14 days

(06OCT2020 to 19OCT2020)

 

NATIONAL

 

1,269

 

279.3

 

13,299

 

Cavan

 

80

 

909.7

 

693

 

Meath

 

221

 

590.6

 

1,152

 

Monaghan

 

38

 

402.4

 

247

 

Sligo

 

27

 

355.5

 

233

 

Westmeath

 

24

 

336.8

 

299

 

Donegal

 

21

 

328.5

 

523

 

Cork

 

116

 

322.0

 

1,748

 

Clare

 

26

 

321.5

 

382

 

Galway

 

74

 

313.9

 

810

 

Wexford

 

51

 

296.5

 

444

 

Longford

 

14

 

278.9

 

114

 

Limerick

 

74

 

278.6

 

543

 

Kildare

 

61

 

276.8

 

616

 

Leitrim

 

<5

 

252.8

 

81

 

Kerry

 

28

 

247.8

 

366

 

Dublin

 

203

 

239.1

 

3,222

 

Roscommon

 

<5

 

229.3

 

148

 

Louth

 

69

 

221.1

 

285

 

Offaly

 

18

 

215.5

 

168

 

Laois

 

14

 

199.5

 

169

 

Carlow

 

16

 

195.0

 

111

 

Mayo

 

28

 

183.9

 

240

 

Kilkenny

 

15

 

167.3

 

166

 

Waterford

 

22

 

154.9

 

180

 

Wicklow

 

12

 

123.6

 

176

 

Tipperary

 

10

 

114.7

 

183

Weddings:

People planning a wedding this year, and many hotels, are looking for clarity on whether guests can travel outside of their 5km limit.

The Taoiseach last night appeared to suggest guests can travel to a wedding, however venues and brides today say they have been told people can only attend if it's in their county.

In level 3 it was the case that the couple getting married can leave the county, but not guests.

Hotels say they're seeking clarity, and this bride - Orla - who is from Kildare but planning to get married in Dublin next month says she will have a back up plan:

R-Number:

The Taoiseach has said getting the reproductive rate of the virus consistently below one is the target of the new lockdown.

The exit strategy involves getting the R rate as low as 0.5 if possible.

Some tweaks have been made to the plan this morning including increasing the number of people who can attend a funeral to 25.

In the Dáil Taoiseach Micheál Martin outlined what the end point of this lockdown will look like:

CMO Letter:

The Chief Medical Officer warned the Health Minister that level 5 for just three weeks could result in a surge of cases shortly before Christmas. 

The letter Dr Tony Holohan wrote to Minister Stephen Donnelly following NPHET's meeting last Thursday has been published. 

In it he explains that level three measures are not working and urged Government to move to level 5 as soon as possible.

Uncertainty:

The hospitality sector is in a 'very precarious' position after the Tanaiste cast doubts over whether it will reopen properly in December.

Leo Varadkar told business groups in a conference call that it's likely Ireland will be in Level 3 restrictions once the lockdown ends in six weeks time.

That would mean no indoor dining in restaurants and pubs.

Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins says they're hopeful a solution can be found, to allow them to open up for Christmas:

Fines:

A new system of graduated fines for people breaking covid rules is being discussed by the cabinet this morning.

The measure will be used to enforce new Level 5 restrictions, which come into force across the country tomorrow night.

The penalties are expected to apply to anyone who breaks the 5 kilometre travel limit from their home, or doesn't wear a face mask in shops.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney says the fines are aimed at making sure everyone is complying:

Evictions:

The Housing Minister says he wants to ban evictions anytime there’s a lockdown.

Renters can't be evicted from their home for the next six weeks during Level 5 restrictions.

Darragh O’Brien wants that to happen automatically, any time there’s a lockdown:

Trump:

Donald Trump's stood by his decision to call the US government's top scientist and his colleagues "idiots".

He criticised infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci in a phonecall with campaign staff.

His election rival Joe Biden says the comments are "unacceptable" when "thousands of American lives are being taken each week".

At a rally in Arizona yesterday, the President again implied Dr Fauci wasn't up to the job:

CASES: The facility was closed for three days as a result of the outbreak.

Posted by Midlands 103 on Monday, 19 October 2020

Heathrow:

Heathrow Airport's offering rapid Covid-19 testing for some passengers before take off.

Testing facilities have been set up in Terminals 2 and 5 which will initially screen people travelling to Hong Kong and Italy.

The service costs under 90 euro and aims to provide results in around one hour.

Morale:

There are concerns people's morale is low and patience is frayed following the latest lockdown announcement.

Psychotherapist Iseult White has these two main tips to help your mental health over the next few weeks:

Financial impact:

The second lockdown is going to cost the state around €1.2 billion in increased social welfare payments alone.

There's been a restoration of the higher, €350 a week rate of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment for those who earned more than 400 a week before losing their jobs.

Six weeks of level five restrictions will kick in from midnight Wednesday night with the likely loss of 150,000 jobs.

People will be told to stay at home and only venture beyond 5km from their homes in limited circumstances.

All non-essential retail is to close, with schools, creches and construction sites remaining open. 

At the announcement last night Tánaiste Leo Varadkar defended not moving to level five two weeks ago, when he was highly critical of NPHET:

Vaccine:

China's started giving people experimental Covid-19 vaccines, despite their effects being unproven. 

It's being rolled out to those at high risk of Covid-19 in the Jiaxing province.

These vaccines don't have scientific approval - but the Beijing government's still given clearance for emergency use. 

Jabs are also being offered to overseas students - like Evelyn Wu, who's had two doses in the hope she can return to the UK in January:

Online buying and selling has come to the fore since March and will continue in the lead upto Christmas. Trying to avoid...

Posted by Garda Síochána Laois Offaly on Tuesday, 20 October 2020

 

Businesses:

Chambers Ireland's calling on government to get cash into the accounts of businesses as soon as possible.

Chief Executive, Ian Talbot, says it's vital to prevent significant job losses around the country:

Salons:

Danielle Kennedy from the Irish Hairdressers Federation says salons have been inundated with last-minute appointments since word of a second lockdown spread:

Nursing homes:

Sage Advocacy says nursing home residents and their families are 'fearful' about the prospect of losing close contact for six weeks.

Executive Director, Sarah Lennon, is calling on the government for clarity about whether families can travel beyond the new five kilometre limit for window visits:

 

Schools:

The Teachers' Union of Ireland say its members aren't convinced schools are as safe as the Department of Education claims. 

The Department say public health officials are casting their net wide and finding an infection rate of just two per cent from mass testing in schools - however students aren't being tested.

The overall national average is 7.2 per cent. 

But TUI president Martin Marjoram says there's serious concern over what constitutes "close contact" in a school setting:

Evictions:

Housing charity Threshold says the renewed ban on evictions should continue for at least six months. 

Chief executive John-Mark McCafferty says it will give certainty to tenants struggling to make ends meet:

Job losses:

Around 150,000 people are expected to lose their jobs when level five restrictions kick in from midnight tomorrow. 

Ireland has become the first European country to enter a second lockdown with all non-essential retail to close. 

However, some measures are more lenient than level five was planned - with schools to stay open, 25 people allowed to attend weddings and elite sport including the inter-county GAA season allowed to continue. 

People will have to work from home unless they're an essential worker, and can't go beyond 5km of their home except in limited circumstances.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has defended the decision not to move to level five two weeks ago when first asked by NPHET:

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